Kom El Shoqafa – Where it all ends only to begin

Entrance to the chambers of Kom El Shoqafa

All that remains today are a few pieces of bones. That too belongs to horses. Maybe it won’t sound impressive at first but then the series of empty burial chambers that stares back at you from the lurking shadows with their vacant expressions are enough to give you a chill.

Burial Chambers

You will know in your heart that one day long ago there was someone lying there and now all they do is carry their memories. The dead are long gone. But the Catacomb of Kom El Shoqafa of Alexandria, Egypt takes you back in a flashback of how the dear departed were helped to cross over to the other realm.

From where dead were entered into the necropolis

Built to serve at three levels, deep down from the earth surface, the sunlight diminishes as you descend the flights of stairs. The last level is today completely underwater. Each step takes you deeper into the necropolis. Tiny arched windows allow you to take a glimpse into the grey heart of the stony shaft. These stairs once served the purpose of lowering the dead to where they rightfully belonged.

Looking through the arched window

Once inside, it opens up like an entrance to a temple, with two columns, making way for a grand welcome for the deceased. The sculptures on the wall bear evidences of great artistry of the time. The magnificent murals have not lost their colours yet and minutely depict scenes from the Egyptian to Greek eras.   

Here it is not difficult to understand that death is not an end and Kom El Shoqafa is only a portal to the other side.

Wall sculptures in Kom El Shoqafa

Considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, Kom El Shoqafa also known as the Mound of Shards, is both mystic and intriguing. The stone walls carry whispers from the past. As you walk still deeper inside the crunch of the stones and pebbles beneath your feet will only get lost in the hollows of the tunnels. In this threshold where life lingers only as an excuse reflects on death as a greater gift to those who embrace it.

Paintings of Kom El Shoqafa

Kom El Shoqafa like many other wonders of Egypt celebrates death. It is as if here there is no ending and only beginning. As we celebrate life, the Catacomb of Kom El Shoqafa teaches us to celebrate death too. For it is only in the end that a new beginning emerges like the brilliant sunlight from behind the dark clouds.

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